Climbing Snowdon/ Yr Wyddfa is a rewarding experience with spectacular and extensive views of North Wales.
Snowdon is busiest on Saturday's and sunny bank holiday weekends in the summer months with June, July and August seeing over half of all visitors. To avoid the crowds consider climbing Snowdon mid week in the spring or autumn and stick to a quieter footpath.
Why is Mount Snowdon so popular?
At 1085m Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and also the highest mountain in Britain outside Scotland. It has good transport links and incredible views.
There are 6 main footpaths which converge at the top, and Snowdon is also a natural extension to Crib Goch.
Increasing it's popularity further is the fact that it is one of the mountains on the National Three Peaks, Welsh 3000's and Snowdon Horseshoe.
In addition, there is a railway station at the summit providing access to the summit for people of all ages and abilities.
All of this makes Snowdon the most popular mountain in the UK, with over half a million people summiting annually. This can make the top, at times, quite busy with long queues forming to get a photo on the summit cairn (as can be seen in the photo above).
How to avoid Snowdon's crowds
At peak times, Snowdon is really busy, especially on the more popular footpaths and at the summit. It is possible to enjoy a level of solitude by choosing the right...
Avoiding Snowdon crowds by month
Summer is by far the most popular season, with June, July and August seeing 53.9% of all annual ascents.
As you can see, March and November are really quiet months, but always be adventure smart and mindful of the mountain weather.
The large jump in April and May and the extremely high visitor numbers in August are in part driven by bank holidays in these months.
Avoiding Snowdon crowds by day
As you might expect, Saturday is by far the most popular day for people to attempt Snowdon, with Sunday coming second.
School holidays, especially the summer one, see a higher than average number of visitors mid week inflating these figures compared to an average mid-week day.
Avoiding Snowdon crowds by bank holidays
Sunny bank holiday weekends see a surge in visitor numbers, with the Easter, May and August bank holidays being particularly busy. If it's sunny and warm, August Bank Holiday is the busiest period with Saturday likely to be the busiest single day of the year.
On the surface, visitor numbers seem to suggest that Monday is more popular than Friday, but this is impacted by bank holiday Mondays. Your average Monday is quieter than your average Friday.
Avoiding Snowdon crowds in time
The summit is busiest from around 11:30 to 14:30. During this time, the summit can be crowded.
Early evening is nearly always quiet, so consider joining one of our sunset walks. Our group sunset walks go up Snowdon's least difficult footpath when it's at its quietest so they are a great choice.
Quietest time to climb Snowdon
Snowdon is least busy mid-week from November to March. Choosing a quieter time, even on really busy days (see photo below) can ensure you have a quiet hike.
Choosing a less busy route for Snowdon
There are 6 main footpaths to the summit of Snowdon. There are additional rock climbing and scrambling routes to the summit, including Crib Goch. Choosing a quieter route will give you a more remote and wild feel.
What are the busiest paths to Snowdon?
Nearly 50% of people take just one Snowdon path, the Llanberis Path, to the summit making this by far the most popular route.
The Llanberis Path is closely followed in popularity by The PYG Track and Miners Track, which both start at the Pen y Pass car park and re-converge before the zigzags. Many people combine the two making it essentially one 'circular' route. Between them comprise of 35% of all ascents.
Parking at Pen y Pass car park is very limited but can be accessed using the frequent Snowdon Sherpa bus service.
Together the Llanberis Path and PYG & Miners Track are used by 82.7% of Snowdon hikers.
What are the quietest paths to Snowdon?
The Rhyd Ddu Path and Snowdon Ranger Path see less than 4% of users, each giving them a solitary and peaceful feel.
Statistically, the Rhyd Ddu Path is the quietest Snowdon route, with just 3.1% of ascents.
10.7% of hikers use the Watkin Path, making this one of the quietest routes.
Be aware that the less popular routes require good navigation skills as the footpaths are less substantial and at times, non-existent.
Crib Goch sees around 25,000 people cross its rocky knife-edge ridge annually. Due to the consequential terrain, nearly all of these are on days with dry rock and low wind.
Crib Goch queue times
Crib Goch is a narrow ridge with big drops on either side. As a result, much of it is only wide enough for one person and is not suitable for 'overtaking'. This can lead to 'bottlenecks' at certain points, meaning you might have to wait a few minutes.
If there is an incident, it can lead to long queue's where climbers have had to wait much longer. This is very much the exception and not the rule, though.
To enjoy Crib Goch without the queues:
avoid Saturdays and bank holidays
consider booking a local guide
Avoid the crowds with our Snowdon guided walks
We know Snowdon better than anyone and have the skills, expertise and experience to take you off the beaten track if you are after solitude on the highest mountain in Wales.
Our pioneering South Ridge route accesses Snowdon's summit via an incredible and quiet ridgeline that the Visitor Monitoring Reports don't even take into account as the numbers are so low.
Get in touch to book your adventure today!!
Frequently asked questions about when to avoid Snowdonia National Park
Here are some frequently asked questions we get asked about when to avoid Snowdon:
Is it best to plan your trip to Snowdon based on the weather forecast?
If you have the flexibility to wait for a favourable weather forecast then this will improve your chances of having good views from the summit.
Be aware that nicer days are also more popular days. If you can visit mid week outside of the school holidays with nice weather, then the odds of having a fantastic day are stacked in your favour.
How busy can Snowdon get?
Snowdon sees over 100,000 visitors each month in July and August with bank holiday weekend at the end of August being the busiest single day if it is sunny.
Consequently, a sunny Saturday in August will likely see over 4000 people attempt to walk up Snowdon with additional visitors using the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Most of these people converge at the summit around lunchtime, making it crowded at this time.
Is there crowd control around Snowdonia?
Snowdonia sees nearly 4 million visitors annually and is open at all times for everyone. There is no crowd control around the Snowdonia National Park or on Snowdon.
If you avoid weekends in the summer months and bank holidays in particular, you will have a much quieter time on Snowdon. You can also choose a less busy route such as the Rhyd Ddu path.
Plan your hike up Snowdon mindfully and check out these other useful resources...
Data obtained from snowdonia.gov.wales visitor monitoring figures.